View from the Vicar

I'm writing this as the Cricket World Cup is well under way. England have just been beaten by Australia and the news headlines are warning of 'imminent calamity'. By the time you read this England will have either been resurgent and possibly even won the world cup, or more likely
crashed out and left all cricket lovers feeling despondent.

Earlier this month was our own Cricket World Cup with the annual High Cogges v. South Leigh Cricket Match. I always try and get along to support the teams and catch up with villagers, this year I foolishly said, "if you're desperate, I'll play". As soon as the words were out of my mouth I was in the High Cogges team. Immediately some of South Leigh voiced concern that as Vicar surely I should remain neutral, I pointed out the fact I was playing for High Cogges was a definite advantage for South Leigh. It had been at least 35 years since I last played cricket and I wasn't very good then. Sure enough I quickly dropped a very easy catch. I then bowled and a few of them were straight, one should have been a wicket but I wasn't the only one dropping very easy catches. Then it came to batting; some of the spectators saw me kneel when I reached the crease and were correct in thinking I was praying. Well my prayers were answered and I wasn't out for a duck. Indeed I hit a single, followed by a 4, followed by a 6 (the boundaries are quite small); by this stage it had completely gone to my head and so next ball I ran myself out.

If you're still reading this (well done), you can tell that I was delighted by my foray into village cricket and feel that I have now fulfilled another Vicar stereotype. However what I really enjoyed was the laughter, the heckling and the fact that all ages were involved. It was a wonderful community event.

Community is at the heart of the Christian gospel and the church is not meant to be a building but a family, looking out for each other, sharing life together, laughing and crying together.

I would love to invite you to join us at the launch of Café Church in the garden of David & Louise Taylor, next to St. James, on Sunday 21st July at 4:00pm. Whether young or old come and laugh together, share a short act of worship, help strengthen the church and village community, and if the weather is good enjoy a BBQ and a swim. If I don't see you I hope you have a wonderful summer, I'm off to practice my catching for next year's cricket match!

Rev. Simon Kirby, Vicar of St. James, South Leigh & St. Mary’s, Cogges
June 2019